Sonia Rodriguez, principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Civil Merit on May 25th. With her husband, Canadian figure skater Kurt Browning, and their two sons, Rodriguez received the award from the ambassador of Spain to Canada, Eudaldo Mirapeix, at Spain’s embassy in Ottawa. The Cross is a significant distinction in the arts given by the King of Spain and was established in 1926 to “reward the civic virtues of civil servants”. Born in Toronto, Rodriguez grew up in Spain where she trained in Madrid with Pedro de la Cruz and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She returned to Canada in 1990 to join The National Ballet of Canada and has been a principal dancer since 2000. Roles created for her include Cinderella in James Kudelka’s Cinderella and Princess Vasilisa in Kudelka’s The Firebird. Rodriguez will next appear as Alice in Christopher Wheeldon’s North American premiere of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.